Wheelchair tennis returns to US Open after two-year break07.09.2017
Doubles contests kick off final Grand Slam of 2017 in New York
The 10th US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition gets underway on Thursday (7 September) at New York’s Flushing Meadows. It is the first time wheelchair tennis has been contested in New York since 2015, after 2016’s planned dates clashed with the Rio Paralympic Games.
The last Grand Slam on the 2017 UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour begins with Arthur Ashe Stadium hosting British second seeds Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid against Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Shingo Kunieda of Japan.
Houdet and Peifer take on Belgium’s Joachim Gerard and Stefan Olsson of Sweden later in the day on Grandstand court.
Thursday’s day session concludes with the women’s doubles semi-final between world No.1 Yui Kamiji of Japan and Lucy Shuker of Great Britain, and USA’s Grand Slam debutante Dana Mathewson and Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands.
Dutch top seeds Marjolein Buis and Diede de Groot, the Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallists, face Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane in the other women’s doubles semifinal.
Quad singles contest
Rio gold and silver medallists Dylan Alcott of Australia and Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne will go head-to-head in Thursday’s first of three days of quad singles round-robin competition.
Alcott and Lapthorne are both former US Open champions, with Alcott having triumphed in 2015, the year after Lapthorne won his one and only Grand Slam singles title to date in New York.
With the top two players at the end of the three days of round-robin competition going forward to the quad singles final, the first day of play will also feature the all-USA contest between two-time champion and world No. 1 David Wagner and wild card entry Bryan Barten who is making his Grand Slam debut
Fernandez to play Peifer again
When the men’s and women’s singles get underway on Friday (8 September) in New York, world No. 1 Fernandez will begin the last Grand Slam of 2017 as he ended the first in January, with a contest against Nicolas Peifer of France.
Fernandez beat Peifer in the Australian Open final as the Argentinian claimed his first career Grand Slam singles title in January and the two went on to meet in the semi-finals at Roland Garros. This time they will be playing for a place in the men’s singles semi-finals, while 2007 Wimbledon champion Olsson faces 2013 US Open champion Houdet in the other quarter-final in the top half of the men’s singles draw.
Kunieda won the most recent of his Grand Slam singles titles in New York in 2015 and six-time US Open champion begins his campaign this year against this year’s Roland Garros champion Hewett. The remaining men’s singles quarter-final sees wold No. 2 and former Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Reid take on reigning NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters champion Gerard.
Kamiji opens against Shuker
With 2015 US Open women’s singles champion Jordanne Whiley currently taking a break from wheelchair tennis as she looks forward to the birth of her first child, 2014 winner and world No. 1 Kamiji is the most recent champion in New York contesting this year’s event.
Kamiji will begin her quest for her second US Open title and her third Grand Slam title of 2017 with a quarter-final against her doubles partner Shuker, with the two players having also met in their opening match at Wimbledon, where Kamiji was a semi-finalist.
A semi-final meeting in New York between Kamiji and 2013 US Open champion van Koot is a possibility, with van Koot set to meet Montjane in her opening match. World No. 8 Montjane contests her first Grand Slam since the 2016 Australian Open following the withdrawal of world No. 3 Jiske Griffioen.
The bottom half of the women’s singles draw will feature a rematch of the Wimbledon final between de Groot and Ellerbrock as world No. 2 de Groot begins her bid for back-to-back Grand Slam titles. Meanwhile, world No. 6 Buis will face wild card entry Mathewson.
More information on the US Open can be found on the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) website.